H U S H by Greg Curry

H U S H

By Greg Curry

I tried to love without my heart, didn’t get far, but how would you know?  I ate something, drank something, took something (today), felt good (today).  I’ll try to not eat, drink, or take anything (tomorrow) that should feel good (tomorrow).

Since when did silence mean I have nothing to say?  Because there’s no perspiration, it doesn’t mean I’m not sweating.  You think because you see no tears, that I don’t cry.

You’re moving really fast, or am I moving really slow?  How long can you keep that pace?  Where is this place you’re in a rush to?  You claim it’s a beautiful, popular place.  Oh!  I want to go also.  Must I improve my pace?  Is admittance subject to a race?  Can I get in without beating you (there)?  Is this place limited to just a few, or is it important to know someone (there)?

You look familiar, but no, I’m sure I’ve never seen you before.  You sound familiar, but no, I’m sure I’ve never heard you before.  Yes, I recall (the thought) more clearly now.  That is you eating, drinking, and talking really loud and fast.  I’m confused because I see tears, but you’re not crying.  While speaking from the heart and working up a sweat like a preacher, you’re convinced… Yes, maybe I should of remained silent since I have nothing to say.

Freedom First,

Greg Curry

Greg Curry, #213-159

Ohio State Penitentiary

678 Coltsville-Hubbard Road

Youngstown, Ohio 44505

www.lucasvilleamnesty.org

An Open Letter from Greg Curry

“It is a given that I’m late to the party, as the saying goes, for my realization that there is a need for a committed and sustained struggle happened while I was in isolation for riot-related charges stemming from the 1993 prison uprising that occured at the Southern Ohion Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, Ohio.

During this period of isolation, great books were handed to me by other prisoners who genuinely cared about my development.  And guess what?  After 19 years of isolation, our bond is still strong!  Though these books, as well as periodicals, and other writings, my eyes were opened wide about people like George Jackson, Elaine Brown, Martin & Malcolm, Betty Springer, Sharon Dannon, Monica Morehead, Larry hales, to name a few.  Along the way I began to ask:  What of these people who embraced various struggles?  Do they not fear for their job, their rank at their job, or their rank within their church?  So often excuses are made for rich athletes and entertainers–things like, “Well, they will lose all their contracts” or “They must focus on the game, not on political of racial issues.”  It seems to me that the people on the phone with the mortgage company, or the health insurer, about a discount after protesting the policies of that company would have the most to lose.

So I believe embracing struggle isn’t about what we stand to lose; instead, it’s about what gains all people will make.  Those that buy gus on credit to attend a rally; those that dine on tomorrow’s agenda, I say to you:  I love you, will never let you down, and look forward to helping you become a strong and active link in the chain of resistance that’s beneficial to all.  you’re the change we can believe in; you’re the real heroes/sheroes.

I only caution that none of you overlook the quality of ideas one can manifest when isolated with books and right thoughts.  Network with those you struggle for, and feel their pulse.

Freedom first,

                                       Greg Curry

Greg Curry, #213-159

Ohio State Penitentiary

878 Coitesville-Hubbard Road

Youngstown, Ohio 44508

go4it_gc@yahoo.com”

You can find more information here on our blog about Greg Curry and the Lucasville uprising (don’t forget to drop him a letter!).  Also check out prisonersolidarity.org and lucasvilleamnesty.org.

Ohio: Prisoners end hunger strike, declare results

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, Youngstown OH- OSP Hunger Strike Ends. After long negotiations with Warden David Bobby on Monday, May 7th, the hunger-striking prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) began eating again. Two of the men held out through Tuesday, unsatisfied with the agreement. The warden met with them separately, and they agreed to come off the strike. Warden Bobby reported that “by lunch time today, everyone was eating.” This was confirmed by two prisoner sources.

At this point, details on agreements are unclear, but sources inside say that the hunger strikers are satisfied and feel they achieved results. One source described the demands and the Warden’s response as “reasonable”. Without going into detail, the main concerns were in regards to commissary costs, state pay rates, phone costs, length of stay, and harsh penalties for petty conduct reports. The Warden said that he discussed “many things” at Monday’s meeting with strike representatives, “many things beyond the main demands” but he would not share any of the details.

The strikers are resting and recovering, but have mailed detailed information to outside supporters at RedBird Prison Abolition, which will be released to the public as soon as possible. The Warden admitted that one of the hunger-strikers was transferred to disciplinary segregation for an unrelated rule infraction, but stated that there were no reprisals or punishments for participating. One prisoner source agreed with this statement.

The hunger strike began on April 30th and was timed to align with May Day protests outside. Prisoners have stated an interest in “joining hands in struggle toward common goals” with protest and resistance movements like Occupy Wall Street.

Ohio: OSP prisoner hunger strike enters second week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OSP Hunger Strike Enters Second Week.

Monday May 7th, 2011, Youngstown OH- Prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) continue the hunger strike they started on Monday April 30th, in solidarity with May Day.

The number of prisoners refusing food has fluctuated from 24 to 48 over the last week, as some prisoners joined late. Communication with the super max prisoners has been limited since the beginning of the strike, but a clear list of grievances and demands has emerged from at least two sources.

The two primary demands are:
1. Improved commissary practices and increased state pay. The prison commissary can set prices at up to 35% mark-up on basic necessities like shampoo, food, and soap. These prices fluctuate unexpectedly, and are often prohibitive to prisoners without outside support, as state pay is only $9 a month.

2. A transparent and accountable security level classification process. OSP houses level 4 and 5 prisoners, the highest security level in Ohio. Once prisoners are classified at these levels and transferred to OSP, there is no clear process for how they can reduce their level and get transferred out of the facility. Prisoners can spend years in OSP without any negative conduct reports and still have no hope of their level being reduced.

Other grievances include:

1. Food portions and quality have been reduced due to austerity measures.

2. Inadequate medical care. Also due to austerity cuts, prison officials have stopped send prisoners to outside treatment centers for MRIs and EEGs unless their conditions are considered life threatening. They also often ignore doctor recommendations for pain medications.

3. Lack of enrichment programming. There are strict bans on many books and movies, and the institutional television channel has little variety. One prisoner said they run the same programs on a loop every six months.

The two sources for these demands are an open letter written to the local Youngstown paper, by prisoner Marcus Harris, and phone conversations with a trusted anonymous source inside the prison. This source also stated that at least one hunger striker has been punished for his participation, sprayed with mace in his cell and sent to disciplinary isolation. This report has not yet been confirmed.

Warden David Bobby met with hunger strike representatives for 3 hours on Wednesday May 2nd. He says he will “continue to communicate with the inmates and listen to their concerns”. Thus far, the Warden has called a committee to review commissary practices, comparing them with other Ohio Institutions.

He says that the security level classification system is not uniform because it takes the reasons a prisoner was transferred to OSP into account. One prisoner source was familiar with this argument. He described a situation where someone got sentenced to Level 5 at OSP for 48 months or less. He got no negative reports for those 48 months, but was still denied a security transfer because of “the reasons he was originally classified Level 5, but they already knew that when the brought him in and told him it’d be 48 months or less”. This prisoner also said that consequences for petty conduct reports, like refusing to cuff up or return a food tray, have recently increased, “someone who used to be sent to the hole for 16 days, now might be dropped a level from 4 to 5″. He considers these changes an attempt to keep OSP full of prisoners as “job security” for the Warden and Officers.

The Warden said OSP currently has the most prisoners it has since it opened in 1996. He also said the current hunger strike is the biggest hunger strike since he became warden 4 years ago. It is also the second hunger strike this year. In February, twenty-five prisoners went on hunger strike for 3 days. Two major demands from that hunger strike were: increased recreation time, to the court required minimum of five hours a week, and improved commissary practices. The recreation time demand was met, but the prisoners say the current hunger strike “follows directly” from the neglected commissary demand from February. The warden says he does not remember what the demands in February were, and that the recreation schedule has changed repeatedly since the transfer of death row from OSP to Chillicothe last December.

Prisoner Mark Harris’s letter ends: “in short, we are sensory deprived, underfed, isolated with little to no movement, unable to hug our children, family and friends, and we are stuck for an overly extended period of time, with limited programming”. He requests that people use “whatever resources [they] have to help spread the word of our cause, to call and check up on us and our health and also to look into these matters”.

Warden David Bobby 330-743-0700
ODRC Director Gary Mohr 614-752-1164

Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan: “What Makes Me a Political Prisoner?”

Link to audio statement

(Statement made at August 2011 Anarchist Black Cross convergence in Colorado)

Revolutionary Salute!

Before I begin my talk on “What Makes Me a Political Prisoner?” I want to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you for attending this year’s national conference and for showing your love, support and utmost concern for what the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) represents.  Likewise, I want to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to Ben, Kate, Weslie, Alec, D. Jones, Noelle, and to all those unknown names that have made it possible for me to speak at this conference.  It is truly an honor and privilege to be able to address this progressive and prestigious body.  And, although I have never spoken at either a local or national conference for your group, I hope and pray that I will not disappoint you nor my supporters who are counting on me to make a solid case for why I need your national support and recognition as a political prisoner.  So let us begin.

It is my unflinching position that there are scores of political prisoners confined in the United States; however, the U.S. government adamantly maintains that there are no political prisoners incarcerated in its penal system.  This arrogant and imperialistic government has even failed to acknowledge the political status of such well-known personalities as Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier.  Thus, I intend to debunk government denials while laying down a clear and definitive criterion of what makes someone a political prisoner in the hopes that some of the political spotlight will not only shine on myself, but also on others who were convicted of fabricated charges stemming from the 1993 maximum-security prison uprising that rocked the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, Ohio. Continue reading

Siddique Abdullah Hasan: Occupy4Prisoners Statement

Siddique_Abdullah_Hasan_Occupy.mp3

For those who attended the Denver Occupy4Prisoners march, this is the same live statement that Hasan made at the march, which was cut of due to technical difficulties.

OSP Prisoners Declare Victory After Three Day Hunger Strike

from Red Bird Prison Abolition

On Wednesday evening, twenty-five prisoners at Ohio’s super-max prison ate their first meal since Sunday night. The hunger strike was inspired by the Occupy4Prisoners National Day of Action called by Occupy Oakland. According to Siddique Abdullah Hasan, one of the hunger strikers, they initially intended a one day fast as a “symbolic gesture, a way of locking arms with the people on the outside.”

By Monday evening, the prisoners had decided to issue demands and continue refusing food. Their demands included specific changes in the conditions of their confinement at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) as well as calls for broader reforms. They resumed eating after Warden David Bobby agreed to grant a number of their demands including: Continue reading

First Letter Writing Night of 2012: A Community Forum on the Lucasville Uprising

Lucasville Uprising Letter Writing Night

Wednesday, January 4th

6:30 pm

27 Social Centre (2727 W 27th ave)

Join DABC on Wednesday, January 4th for a community dinner and forum on the Lucasville Prison Uprising of 1993.  The event will include an informative presentation and critical discussion on the uprising and its aftermath. SIDDIQUE ABDULLAH HASAN, A PRISONER FROM THE LUCASVILLE UPRISING, WILL BE GIVING A SPECIAL ADDRESS VIA TELEPHONE.

The event is child friendly, free, and open to the public.

More on the Lucasville Uprising…

In April of 1993 hundreds of prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility took control of one of the facility’s wings for 11 days before it was forcibly taken back over.  The rebellion was composed of a temporarily united front of prisoners across racial, religious, and gang divisions that produced 21 demands centered around basic human rights.  During the uprising several prisoner informants and a guard were killed.

In the aftermath, the state aggressively recruited snitches, coerced their testimony, interfered with access to council, hid or destroyed exculpatory evidence, and presented little or no physical evidence in trials and legal proceedings. Five inmates were given the death penalty, while others were given life sentences.

More on Siddique Hasan…

Siddique Abdullah Hasan is a prison Imam, a skilled writer, and a compassionate mentor and friend to fellow inmates. He was placed on death-row for his alleged leadership role in the 1993 Lucasville rebellion. The riots occurred shortly before his scheduled release. Hasan maintains his innocence. His case has found widespread popular support, but is nearing the end of appeals.

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Political Prisoner Updates

FreeMumia.com: Today the United States Supreme Court rejected a request from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to overturn the most recent federal appeals court decision declaring Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence unconstitutional.

Greg Curry

Greg Curry of the Lucasville Uprising has now been added to the Denver ABC Political Prisoner Database.

Sundiata Acoli:

Many of you know, after serving over 38 years in prison, former Black Panther member Sundiata Acoli was denied parole for the third time on March 4, 2010. But he was also given a ten year hit by the New Jersey State Parole Board. Last December, an administrative appeal was denied by the NJ Parole Board and a letter affirming the denial of Sundiata’s parole was received. Read the rest of the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign Update here.

 

Siddique Hasan and Bomani Shakur of the Lucasville Uprising added to PP Database

Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Bomani Shakur of the Lucasville Uprising are now listed in the Denver ABC Political Prisoner Database

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